[TUHS] Fwd: For the archives: UNIX/24V for the Harris /6 Docs

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Fri Dec 25 01:03:49 AEST 2020

On Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 08:36:18PM -0500, Noel Chiappa wrote:
>     > Bill passed away this summer - you may have seen his epic farewell
>     > message.
> Anyone have a copy of this? I did a Web search, but all I could find was the
> Subject line ("public static final void goodbye ()").

A sad message.   I "worked" with Bill, fought with Bill is more like it,
but we were on the same side, we both wanted what was best for Sun's 
customers, we just didn't always agree on what that was.  As much as
I fought with him, there were many times I wanted to quit and what
kept me there was I didn't want Bill to be fighting alone.  He was
a great guy.

From: Bill Shannon <bill.shannon at oracle.com>
Subject: public static final void goodbye() { /**NORETURN*/ }*
Date: May 30, 2020 at 11:51:04 PM EDT
To: Bill Shannon <bill.shannon at oracle.com>

A year and a half ago I was diagnosed with a rare abdominal tumor that
turned out to be cancer. ??For almost a year we believed surgery had
removed it completely, but such was not to be the case. ??I've spent 6
months fighting a losing cause with chemo, and it's now clear that fight
is coming to an end.

I've worked with so many amazing people, on so many interesting
projects, and made so many invaluable friendships over the years that
it will be impossible to remember who all to acknowledge and thank
for helping making my life so incredible.

I started at Sun (as employee #11) by bringing SunOS to life. ??Just as
wild success was within reach, we stretched a little too far and signed
a deal with AT&T. ??That set us back almost 5 years, but at least I
have the "black edition" of Solaris signed by Eric Schmidt - "I'm Sorry".

Next it was time to move on to learn about window systems, desktop
applications, and industry consortiums in the form of CDE.

CDE was moving much too slowly and in 1996 a new opportunity presented
itself - Java. ??We tried a Java machine, a JavaOS, and a Java desktop
environment - Hotjava Views. ??None of that really panned out until Java
found its home as an application server environment, first named J2EE
and then named Java EE. ??I was recruited as leader of this new effort,
which has subsequently been given a new name and new leadership -
Jakarta EE at the Eclipse Foundation.

When I started work at Sun I was sure I was going to be working on
Unix forever. ??Clearly Unix will continue for long time, and I believe
Java has at least as much runway as Unix. ??Best of luck to all of you
working on these technologies going forward. ??I'm glad I got to live
through the non-event of Y2K; I'm disappointed I don't get to do the
same for Y2038K.

This message started with a list of a few of the people who made a big
impact on my career at Sun and Oracle. ??But the more I added to the list,
the more I knew the list would never end. ??I decided to just fill in
the first and last items on the list, trusting that you'll know where
to fill in the rest.

Bill Joy started it all. ??An intense week with Bill while I was working
at DEC gave me a new appreciation for binary patching, and soon an offer
to join Sun! ??Sun pretty much defined my career, and my life, for quite
some time. ??With three exceptions, it was the best thing that ever
happened to me.

Ed Bratt helped hold our team together through some very tough spots,
but most important to me was as a good friend helping me navigate and
providing support through these final days at Oracle.

In addition, there's the uncountable good people, coworkers and not, that
I've considered my very closest, dearest, and most trustworthy friends.
If you've ever shared a glass of wine at my house, you know who you are.

There's especially the Thursday lunch bunch and the Sunday night dinner
group. ??How would I have ever gotten by without you?

And finally there's those three exceptions. ??There're my daughters
Kim (28; building Pok??mon Go! for Niantic), Amy (24; finishing her BS in
Anthropology at the University of Oregon), and Karen, my wife of 40
years and without whom I would not be who I am today. ??While they're all
very strong people, they will all benefit from your continued help
and friendship.

Obviously there's considerable uncertainty with predicting these sort
of things, and I've already beaten the odds several times, but let's just
say it feels like time is running out more quickly. ??If there's any
last minute things you'd like to say or hear, now is the time.

I love you all and can't imagine a world without all of us in it.


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